Kansas City Bishop Charged With Failing To Report Suspected Child Abuse.

A bishop has become the highest-ranking US Catholic official indicted on a charge of failing to protect children after he and his diocese waited five months to tell police about hundreds of images of child pornography discovered on priest Shawn Ratigan's computer.
 Shawn Ratigan on left and Bishop Finn right

The diocese made a copy of the images found on Ratigan’s laptop and then, instead of turning the computer over to police, gave it to his family, who destroyed it. 
Bishop Robert Finn, the first US bishop criminally charged with sheltering an abusive clergyman, and the Kansas City-St Joseph Catholic Diocese have pleaded not guilty on one count each of failing to report suspected child abuse.

Prosecutor Jean Peters Baker said Finn and the diocese were required under state law to report the discovery to police because the images gave them reason to believe a child had been abused.

"Now that the grand jury investigation has resulted in this indictment, my office will pursue this case vigorously," Baker said. "I want to ensure there are no future failures to report resulting in other unsuspecting victims."

Bishop Finn is accused of covering up abuse that occurred as recently as last year – almost 10 years since the nation’s Catholic bishops passed a charter pledging to report suspected abusers to law enforcement authorities.

Finn faces a maximum penalty of one year in jail and a $1,000 fine if convicted of the misdemeanour. The diocese could also face a $1,000 fine.
Enhanced by Zemanta

No comments: